What is going on with Featured Row?

This post, for those who have come in cold to this, is a continuation of a reply in this thread. I hope I’ve picked the correct subforum for this.

It seems to me as of late that a lot of the posts that are going on Featured Row are questionable. I’m noticing lately many posts that gain the “honor” are created for the most part in other software and only rendered in Blender.

The post that inspired this post was simply a re-texturing of a scanned 3D model.

I ask you, what criteria is being used to decide what is displayed in Featured Row? Is it only necessary to have the smell of Blender on the project involved? Do you think it’s legitimate to feature projects using other software to model/sculpt a model, then use yet another software to create materials* only to render the imported model in Blender? Is it ok to use a non-original asset taken from somewhere else, re-texture it with no other modification and have it considered for Featured Row? I’d find it a hair insulting if that’s all it takes…if I had any skin in the game. I don’t post my work; I send my work to my clients.

This was @bartv’s reply to my post. My reply got flagged as off-topic but here it is appropriate:

@bartv, c’mon. “…a careful voting process”? What does it entail exactly? I know you don’t have to justify anything to anyone, being the admin of this site, but at least you could post a rebuttal a little more than “not my fault.”

Blenderartist.org members, what do you think? Is this site Blender-specific or not? Do you feel it’s ok to be a general 3D site/forum or not? PEACE, EVERYBODY.

*And before anyone grabs this bone and runs with it, I don’t mean using image editors for creating image textures, I mean using other procedural texture apps such as Substance Painter.

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I agree with you @gtomorrow to a degree, artist must give appropriate credits/links to the original models used (especailly if it’s the main object like in this case). This, of course, effects the voting process for the featured bar. (And I feel like that tricked couple of voters, including me :face_with_hand_over_mouth:)

However, material studies, texture/shader creations alone could be well deserved for the featured bar in my opinion.

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So everyone should try material + lighting + compositing on Emily and see if they get featured? I think no one will after this.

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Honestly, I feel that the bar has been lowered with featured section over the past few years. The original gallery used to be like the holy grail of Blender. Only the very best artwork got featured. But, the site has changed since back then. It’s a little more like the Blender Reddit these days, which is fine honestly, but it’s a good indication of how the site has evolved over the past 5 or so years.

In fact, the bar dropped enough that I thought I would have a decent chance of reaching the featured section a few months back when I posted a finished project which I was stupidly proud off. I didn’t though, and the post got lost in time, and I’m not at-all bitter about it lol o_O (Later found it was a 50/50 in the voting page to be featured…grrrr!)

I was part of the voting page for a while, but haven’t seen it pop up for a while, so guessing I’m no longer part of it? But generally, people vote on what looks nice, and not necessarily what is high quality on a technical level. And I think that’s part of the issue. People see a render and think Oh, that looks nice and they don’t bother reading anything about it, they just take it at face value.

That being said, you still get some ridiculously good stuff in the featured bar, but I do think that voting should be much tighter, and at the very least, people should be encouraged to consider more than just oooh pretty when voting.

In regards to texturing and using other software aswell as Blender, I personally don’t see any issue with it. As long as the final piece in some way showcases Blender, or some aspect of it, then I think it’s fair game. A character render modelled on Zbrush, textured in substance, but rendered in Blender is fine honestly, as it’s still showcasing Blenders rendering capabilities, which at the end of the day, is what the gallery is for - showcasing Blender and it’s tools.

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I’m not only agreeing with the O.P., I was going to write the same.

Too often the criteria with which the top row artworks are chosen are highly questionable, and ‘the careful voting process’ to which Bart refers consists only of 3 or 4 votes in the Lounge, which is closed to the most of users.

In this particular case it is only the creation of a material on a model already made by others with textures already made, and in addition the result leaves much to be desired.

Many times I have tried to make Bart understand that this does not benefit the quality of the Gallery, and therefore it does not benefit Blender.

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Hi all,

Thanks for this feedback. It wasn’t clear to me when we picked this that this model was a publicly available model (the artist has since added this information - something he should have done from the start). This might have influenced my personal vote, however, the consensus was that the texturing/shading work was of high quality and it deserved a feature.

One opinion I keep seeing here is that the featured bar should be only for the absolute best of the best Blender work. This is is not how we use it. The Featured bar is showing (roughly) the ‘best of the week’; it’s a community building tool that’s used for rewarding strong contributors and for keeping the site fresh and alive. We don’t have the resources to build a ‘best of Blender’ gallery, however if someone is willing to spearhead this I’m happy to open a dedicated tag and gallery page for it.

The voting process is in place because we have to work with very limited resources. That said, we have more people in the group who CAN vote, so I’ll work on activating them more.

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It’s an strange process to be honest with you bart. Sometimes I go to the galleries and dig up an art from two weeks ago by commenting about it. and the next few days I see it gets the attention it deserves casue people saw it.
Most of the times I see 10 like equals a feature.
Sometimes the art is so good you can tag featured no problem. Sometimes you see a famous person post an art and after a week with no likes it gets featured. (Don’t getme wrong it deserves it) sometimes it’s too subjective.

I think if more people would dig the finished projects gallery it would be much better.

Here is a formula folks:
Go on TurboSquid or CGTrader, download the free interior stuff (basic shapes and wall and floor textures), build an interior render, add Grasworld add-on and a free HDRI… you are a hero!

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I replied you in the notice you posted in the Lounge, but I believe that the topic should concern all the members and not just fifty of them, so I repeat my answer here:

If you look at the comments you’ll see that many of them didn’t even know this is a finished model and texture. Truth to be told this is one of the worst renders of that model I’ve seen. Also this is not the first time this model is here on BA. Those that gave a like probably thought it was an original. That model is not that famous as we think. Unless you’ve seen it before you wouldn’t know this.

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Ok, everybody…behave yourselves. :laughing: While I personally can appreciate the sarcasm in some of the posts and also agree with the intent, it’s not helping. Keep it civil :heart: and intelligent :brain:.

Real life calls. I’ll be back later whether you like it or not! :rofl: :v:

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This is true, and the greater responsibility goes to the O.P. (of the original thread) that should have explicitly declared that the model and the textures were not his, and even mention the sources, out of respect for the authors and for us.

Though many did not know that the work was not original, to consider it pleasant is a little too much.

I agree with your judgment, and this is an example of how a bad choice in Gallery harms Blender showcasing.
The renderings of these famous and widespread models on the web are useful and used for comparing the capabilities of the various engines and shading systems; such an example does not benefit the public image of Cycles even a little.

That actually makes sense, based on what we’ve been seeing, and is good information to have. I always just assumed that it was a continuation of the old style gallery system, and the featured row that used to have. But thinking back, that would be updated scarcely, and some posts would stay on the top row for weeks if not longer, so keeping things fresh is actually common senses. Perhaps something could be used to indicate this to people like me that didn’t realise that was it’s intended use? Rather than just ‘Featured’ perhaps ‘Featured posts of the week’ or something. I dunno, but thanks for the explanation, it does make things clearer.

I’ve noticed this too, and as much as I like the ‘Like’ feature introduced to the site (It’s something people have been asking for for literal years) - I do blame it for the lack of responses these days. It takes a few seconds to write ‘Hey, nice work!’ on a post, but takes even less time to click a heart icon. In my opinion, it discourages discussion and or critique, and people just look at the pictures; they don’t even have to read the post. Yet I still wouldn’t want it removed, as I still think it’s a good feature. I just wish people would post actual comments more…

I’ve also noticed that editing your post sends it back to the top, regardless of age, content etc…Cannot tell you how tempted I’ve been in the past (and still now) to add a ‘.’ to a post and send it straight back to the top, especially when you post something you feel ‘deserves’ attention, yet it disappears down the listings with no replies and a couple of likes… With great power, comes reluctant responsibility though, I guess…

About the model of the topic that started the whole thing: there is no texturing work. The textures are provided with the model and the shader is literally a principled shader with the provided textures connected, as you can see on artstation.

With that said, if it deserves a feature row that’s not for me to decide. Still, IMO it’s probably there just because most of the people that voted didn’t realise that the model and the textures are downloaded from the internet.

I agree on a “best of the week” approach, I also think that is a good thing to have more persons featured. I guess that even less impressive works ( but still impressive ) would be fine if the artist had to break a sweat.

On the other hand I dislike shortcuts. 5% of others work in a render is cool, 95% is not.

I like the most when I see the artist first on the w.i.p. threads and only then on the final threads, before being featured… it’s a full cycle and proves undoubtedly that he/she is the real deal.

My $0.02…

The beauty and value of a piece of expression, like artwork, cartoons, comics, movies, music, books, etcetera are always subjective, so there will always be people who like something and people who don’t, and that’s fine. Expressions should incite discussion.

Next to this there’s a fully understandable bit of frustration when you think you’ve really made something outstanding and after posting it with some degree of expectation it turns out to quickly fade away in BA’s Gallery section. I guess most of us who post art in the gallery have felt that sometimes.

To prove the subjectivity: I’m being completely honest when I state that I think the quality of the gallery has actually improved lately. Back on the old, pre-Discourse BA forum I sometimes didn’t think some artworks deserved a top row entry, especially when comparing it to the ZBrushCentral top row entries.

But I think the quality of Blender artwork is improving in general, because both Blender’s capacities and the skills of its users are generally improving.

I also think the top row shouldn’t be an ivory tower of exceptionally skilled 3D artists. An original or fun concept is just as laudable as an impeccably executed, realistic portrait of yet another angry orc or sexy girl.

Ofcourse there will be cases like the one with the scanned model, that’s hard to avoid.

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I too feel that the bar for inclusion is quite low. I kind of stopped voting on the features because I feel like I’d have to downvote a lot of them, and I don’t really want to be that guy.

Like that amp render - it’s totally fine, but you know, it’s not pushing the envelope in anything. It’s just literally two to four hours worth of ok work. The two architectural interiors required more effort, but also don’t push either Blender or any kind of art. They’re ok. Nothing wrong with them. Just not terribly interesting. The two other pics - neon by night and lighthouse - at least have some kind of artistic intent going on. No comment on the Emily render.

I get it that the featured row is not meant to be ‘best of the best’, but perhaps it should be more of a ‘best of the month’ thing rather than ‘best of the week’?

Edit: Oh, someone decided to take away my voting forum access. Haha. Well at least I don’t have to feel bad about not voting now :smiley:

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That’s exactly what I mean by subjectivity. You like expressive / narrative artwork, so your preference is directed towards that. Personally I like cartoony / stylized character artwork, preferably containing a bit of humor. But there will be hundreds of architectural visualizers on BA who love to see pieces from their line of work in the featured row, and they deserve it just as much.

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I mean, there’s no way to avoid subjectivity, so you might as well embrace it. Should average out over the number of voters. Like samples in Cycles.

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:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: YOU’RE KILLING ME! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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